Cybersecurity Tips For Remote Employees
Remote working and cybersecurity risks, unfortunately, go hand in hand. With many people now working remotely, cybercriminals are targeting workers and preying on unfamiliar routines, technological learning curves, and distracted employees. If your employees work remotely, it’s important to adopt a few basic habits to protect your devices and business network from cybercriminals. Here’s a quick look at a few basic tips for remote workers that can go a long way in preventing data breaches and cyberattacks and enhancing the overall security posture of your organization.
Use a Reliable Antivirus Software
One of the most effective security tips for working from home is to invest in a comprehensive and reliable antivirus solution for you and your employees. Antivirus suites take the hard work off your hands by offering automatic remote work security against a host of threats, including:
- Trojans and worms
- Malware, spyware, and viruses
- Phishing scams, including those sent via email
- Zero-day attacks (takes advantage of security flaws before they are patched)
Not only can a comprehensive antivirus suite prevent up to 100% of online security threats, but it also automatically updates itself to stay on top of new and emerging threats.
Learn to Detect Phishing Scams
Phishing is still the number one attack method behind data breaches. Phishing is a form of social engineering where bad actors look for ways to trick people into clicking on something malicious in an email, such as a link or an attachment. The more realistic and compelling the content, the more likely the recipient clicks on it. Phishing is just the entry point and can lead to malware infection, identity theft, lateral movement across the network, account takeover, and more.
As a remote worker, you should be careful about clicking on links or attachments in an email that looks suspicious to you. Here is how you can prevent a phishing scam:
- Ignore unprompted emails that request an urgent response.
- Use additional caution for unrecognized senders.
- Check sender email addresses and domains.
- Pay close attention to spelling/grammatical errors.
- Don’t open attachments unless they are expected.
- Hover over links to check their destination before clicking.
- Keep passwords safe – your IT department won’t ask you for your password over email. The same goes for any reputable company.
Choose Strong Passwords
Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your devices and personal information. Creating a strong, unique password makes it more challenging for cybercriminals to gain access and disrupt your systems networks.
Use strong alphanumeric passwords or encrypted passwords across all your devices and apps, and always remember to use a unique password for different accounts, systems, and platforms. “Remember password” functions should always be turned off when logging into company information systems and applications from your personal devices.
Update System Software
One essential security tip for remote workers is to update any system software, including antivirus, as soon as it becomes available. Vulnerabilities and bugs are found every day, and updating the software is the best way to protect your work devices.
Make sure to also update user-space applications such as browsers and media players. Advanced attackers often leverage bugs in such software to gain full system privileges. We also recommend not installing any untrusted software on your devices.
Secure Your Home Network
Many people don’t change their home router password when first installed, leaving their home network vulnerable. So be sure to switch your router’s password from the default setting. Also, ensure you have enabled network encryption, which can usually be done under the security settings on your wireless configuration page. Other actions include ensuring sure firmware updates are installed so that security vulnerabilities can be patched.
Implement Multifactor Authentication
Does your company-issued laptop require multifactor authentication (MFA)? Multifactor authentication adds an extra protective layer of security by requiring the user to validate that they are, in fact, who they say they are by providing more than one form of identification.
With MFA, you have something besides a password protecting crucial accounts, because even if a cyber thief steals your password, they would also need to have your phone, fingerprint, or other identifiers to access your account. This significantly decreases the odds of an attacker getting through. In fact, Microsoft found that using MFA can block over 99.9% of account attacks. With numbers like that, using multifactor authentication is a no-brainer.
Use a VPN
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, can help you establish a secure connection with your company and secure information transmitted through data encryption. It’s designed to prevent threat actors from intercepting sensitive data, such as customer information or financial documents. Don’t turn off your VPN when working, and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing work-related accounts unless your VPN is on.
Alvarez Technology Group can help your team avoid a breach and better manage your remote workforce cybersecurity operations. Contact us today for more information about our IT services.